Ryan Gannon

rgannon1@bryant.edu

Hi, I'm Ryan Gannon and I'm a sophomore from Litchfield, Connecticut. I'm a Global Supply Chain Management major and an Environmental Science Minor. I also love to run and am a member of the Cross Country and Track & Field teams here at Bryant. Thanks for reading!


Studying Abroad: Taking the First Step

September 28th, 2014

Most college students, at some point in their academic careers, say that they would like to spend a semester studying in another country. Unfortunately, it is an adventure that most never end up taking.

I am personally in the process of deciding where I want to spend my own semester abroad, but I will discuss that more in a later post. I will say that Bryant's study abroad office has been absolutely invaluable in facilitating every step in the process thus far.

I've spoken with several students who have studied abroad, all of whom have been more than happy to share their experiences with me. I also have yet to hear one negative sentiment about a semester abroad.

The advisors have also been indispensable at every corner. The study abroad specific advisors are incredibly knowledgeable about all the programs, and have actually traveled to many of the locations themselves and can give first-hand experience to help you choose a country.

Bryant is partnered with nine program providers, each of which offer unique opportunities all over the world. You could choose one of the more traditional options and study in a beautiful city in Spain or Italy. You could hone your Spanish skills while living with a host family in a South America. You could step way outside your comfort zone and learn in an Asian or African country, or you could go to one of the many other locations all over Europe. In all, locations are offered in over 50 countries, so you won't be short on options.

Personally, I was somewhat torn while making the decision to go abroad. I was reluctant partly because I love Bryant and I want to take advantage of every semester I have here. On the other hand, however, there may never be another chance to spend four months living in another country, and the experience will be something that can't be matched otherwise. So where ever you end up, I urge you to consider taking the opportunity to study abroad.

The link below provides more information on Bryant University's study abroad program.

http://www.bryant.edu/academics/undergraduate/study-abroad/

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Going Off Campus: Providence

September 21st, 2014

I can honestly say that the Bryant campus feels like home to me. It offers everything I could ask for: a tight-knit community with plenty of friendly faces, a great environment to learn and expand in, as well as plenty to do so I'm never bored. With that said, it never hurts to have a change of scenery available. Whether you need a break from studying on campus, or just want a meal from somewhere other than the dining hall, Providence is always a great (and close) destination.

Getting there is never a problem, either. Even freshmen are allowed to have cars on campus,  so if you don't have your own, I guarantee one of your friends will. If not, you can always take the RIPTA. The RIPTA is Rhode Island's public transportation system, which sends a bus right from campus to the heart of downtown Providence about every 45 minutes. This is a perfectly viable alternative to taking a car and, in my opinion, is even better: you don't have to worry about parking, and as a student you ride for free.

Providence is home to several colleges, included among them Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. As a result the city exudes a youthful and artistic vibe where visiting students fit right in. The huge Providence Place Mall is a favorite destination of Bryant students, as well as Thayer Street, a road lined with restaurants and coffee shops that's always bustling with a young crowd.

prov-mural.JPG

I took this picture during my last trip to Providence. The mural was designed by a famous artist and entrepreneur, who actually got his start as a street artist in Providence. Pieces of art like these can be seen everywhere and add to the characteristic charm of the city.

 Thanks for reading,

 Ryan

Homecoming Pep Rally

September 15th, 2014

This past weekend marked Bryant University's Homecoming. During these days, many alumni from past graduating classes return to campus to reunite with former classmates and take in the changes the campus has seen over the years.

The main event of Homecoming weekend is always Saturday's football game. The night before the game, however, all of the student-athletes and much of the student body gather by the pond in the center of campus for the pep rally. At this year's rally, we heard from each of the fall sports teams' captains about their upcoming seasons,  followed by performances from Bryant's cheerleaders and dance team.

pep-rally.jpg

Per school tradition, the pep rally was finished off with a massive bonfire in the middle of the pond, lit by our own President Machtley, and an incredible display of fireworks going off above the Unistructure.

The pep rally is a great way to get pumped for the fall sports season and boost Bulldog pride. The next day Bryant football took down UMaine in an exciting 13-10 game.

 Thanks for reading,

 Ryan

Lessons Learned from Freshman Year

May 9th, 2014

As my first year at Bryant comes to a close, I've found myself reflecting on all the exciting things I've done, the new experiences I've had, and the amazing people I've met. I can say without a doubt that it's been one of the best years of my life, and I couldn't be happier to have chosen Bryant. But there are also some things I could have done differently, or that I wish I had known beforehand. Looking back, here are the lessons I've learned from my freshman year at Bryant University:

  1. Appreciate good weather when you have it. Frankly, the winter can really drag on. After a month of the cold and snow, I found myself wishing I had been more appreciative of the nice weather at the beginning of the year. Be grateful for it when it's there, and take advantage of it to spend time outside and enjoy the beauty of the campus.
  2. fountain.JPG
  3. Take some trips off campus. Despite the breathtaking beauty of Bryant's campus, a change of scenery never hurts. Sometimes it's good to take a trip somewhere, if only to break the monotony of doing schoolwork. Everyone (including freshmen) is allowed to have a car on campus, so it usually isn't hard to get a ride - and if not, you can always take advantage of the free RIPTA bus system. This past weekend my friends and I spent a day in Newport doing the cliff walk and looking at the historic mansions, and it was a great way for us all to unwind and get our minds off finals for a while.
  4. newportcliff.JPG
  5. Befriend your neighbors. Get to know the people that live on your floor. I've been living near the same people for a whole year, but I'm just now getting to know them and realize what awesome people they are. Leave your door open, and make an effort to find something in common with everyone you talk to... You live on the same floor, that's a start. If you don't do this, you'll find yourself regretting it by the end of the year. Trust me on this one.
  6. Bring a suit. With all the opportunities, you'll need it.
  7. citytarget.jpg
  8. Freshman year will be a learning experience. No matter who you are or how prepared you are, you will be faced with challenges and intimidating new experiences. You may have trouble adjusting to the academics or living with a roommate, or it might just be the first time you've had to do your own laundry. The bottom line is that everyone has to adjust, so no matter what you are going through just remember that you're surrounded by hundreds of kids going through the same thing, and a few thousand that went through it before you. The Bryant community and all its resources will be there to get you through it, and before you know it you'll be well adjusted to life as a Bulldog.
-

Freshman year flies by. And from what I hear, every year goes by quicker than the last. So above all, make sure you enjoy it.

Best of luck.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Housing Selection

May 2nd, 2014

One of the most exciting parts of the past few weeks has been selecting where my friends and I will live next year. As a freshman, you live in one of three freshman halls, two of which are traditional dormitories where you will typically live with one roommate, or you may select to be in a quad. These halls have two bathrooms shared by the floor. The third freshman hall offers suite-style living, where several double bedrooms are connected to a common room and a bathroom for that suite alone is included.

My favorite feature of the freshman halls is that each of them has a common room for the entire hall with a couches, tables, a TV and ping pong tables. These are great places to socialize, get some work done and meet new people in your hall.

Just about every sophomore and junior goes on to live in the suite village, before moving on to a townhouse senior year. The suites in the village typically consist of three double bedrooms connected to a common room and a bathroom.

hall-17.jpg

You get to select where you live, and while preference is given based on credits and seniority, I have yet to meet someone who wasn't pleased with their new home.

Part of why I selected Bryant is that a huge majority of the student body lives on campus, a  fact that really speaks to the school's tight-knit community atmosphere.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Surviving Finals

April 28th, 2014

As a second semester freshman, I've already gone through the gauntlet of finals week once. I made some mistakes, but I learned a lot from them and know what to expect for the finals to come. Here are the lessons I learned and the tips I feel are most important:

  1. Invest in a monthly calendar. Use it to mark down when you have your finals as well as important due dates. I didn't do this last semester,  and led to me doing a lot of last minute work. Having all your due dates laid out in one place helps keep you on track. calendar.png
  2. Sleep! Many students pull all-nighters or stay up really late studying, only to be too groggy or tired to focus during the actual exam. Manage your time right, and a good night's rest trumps last minute studying every time. study.jpg
  3. Get outside or hit the gym. This is especially important during first semester finals, when it's cold out and people spend most of their time cooped up inside. I know if I hadn't been running during finals week I would never have been able to focus. Speaking from experience, exercise clears your mind and will make you feel far more productive.

Good luck!

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Spring Concert Hype

April 21st, 2014

Bryant is gearing up for Spring Weekend, a two-day celebration that will take over the campus two weekends from now. The festivities will include several sessions of field events, a special international meal in the dining hall, and Big Bingo.

The crown jewel of Spring Weekend, however, is the concert. On Saturday night of next weekend, B.oB. will be performing on campus.

To give you an idea of how excited the student body is for this event, here's a look at the line for tickets when sales opened on Monday:

springconcert.JPG

That line goes around the building and finishes upstairs in the Fisher Student Center. The line nearly doubled in size after I took this picture as well.

Certainly worth the wait, especially considering the tickets are free!

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Campus Dining

April 14th, 2014

Bryant offers a number of great meal plan options which can be a bit difficult to decipher if you're not familiar with the system. This post will give a quick rundown of the choices and the characteristics of campus dining.

First off, the places to eat:

  • Salmanson Dining Hall ("Salmo") - At Salmo, students are offered a buffet-style dining experience with a great variety of options. The Classics section serves typical main course meals, such as eggs and pancakes for breakfast or chicken and potatoes for dinner. Also popular is the omelette bar in the morning and the International section for dinner, which is best-known for its stir fry. Options such as the sandwich bar, salad bar, cereal, bagels and toast are always available as well.
salmo2.jpg
  • Cafes - There are two cafes on campus, one in the library and one in the Koffler Rotunda of the Unistructure (which houses the majority of Bryant's classrooms). These are great places to stop by for a quick snack between  classes or during a study break.
  • Fisher Student Center - The newly renovated student center is host to a number of great options. Here you will find a Dunkin' Donuts, a Subway, and Nick's Place, which serves great restaurant-style foods like burgers, salads and chicken tenders. Also located in Fisher is The Scoop, which is essentially an the on-campus grocery store. Fisher is a great place to come for a meal if you're looking to socialize or watch a game as you eat.
fisher.jpg There are a number of different meal plan options, but it essentially works like this: Students are given the choice of seven, 10, 14 or 21 meal swipes per week. The fewer meal swipes they have per week, the more Dining Dollars and Bulldog Bucks they are provided with so that they may eat more often in other places. Below is a rundown of how each works:
  • Meal Swipes - These are used to gain access Salmason Dining Hall, and reset each week. Salmo is buffet-style, so once you swipe in you can eat as much or as little as you like.
  • Dining Dollars - These can be used at the two cafes and at Nick's Place, as these locations are operated by Bryant's dining service.
  • Bulldog Bucks - Good for Subway and Dunkin' Donuts, and can also be used for vending machines and laundry.

Bryant University's dining services are currently provided by Sodexo, but starting next academic year we will be transitioning to a new provider, Aramark. It will be interesting to see what exciting new features this company will have to offer.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Lore of the Archway

April 3rd, 2014

Read More...

Bryant Lacrosse

March 28th, 2014

There's been a lot of buzz surrounding Bryant's Men's Lacrosse team lately. Currently with a record of 7-2 and a five game win streak, the Bulldogs have been dominant on the field. Already this season, they have been ranked as well as 12th in the nation.

The fast-paced sport of lacrosse is one of the most exciting sports to watch and a favorite of many students on campus.  To have a nationally ranked team at such a small school is something special, and makes for an amazing atmosphere of school pride and spirit.

 If you're planning to visit campus, I recommend you take a look at the team's schedule, and see if you can catch a game while you're here.

Thanks for reading,

RyanDisplaying photo.JPG